text : mansill + tuñón architects photo : luis asín
on the first of july 1999, five trucks transported five letters from madrid to castellón. the five letters had been built in white reinforced concrete, in the city of madrid. the five trucks were the same, the five letters were different. the drivers carried telephones so that they could attend to the orders of the directors of the action. as they moved through the landscape and the towns, the five letters formed a word. the emergence of a word, an intruder, implies a culturization of landscape through thought. a culturization in motion that leaves no lasting mark. an ephemeral action, limited to four hundred and forty kilometres and ten hours of travel. nature is what a person sees through experience. the task of art is to generate thoughts able to propose new experiences. the task of photography is not to represent or imitate what exists, but to summarize an experience. therefore, the pictures of this travel reveal the process of a different experience –just a few documents are left as a trace that freezes time, catalyses memory and at the same time challenges the disappearance of the ephemeral. the movement of the five letters on trucks must be understood as a “travel with weight”, reminding us of the mass of the earth that claims for itself everything that moves on its surface. the aim of this ephemeral installation has to do with the earth (two ways of colonizing: the gaze and the footprint) and with time (two ways of measuring: distance and movement). the emergence of these intruding letters, before the changing eyes of people, provokes a transformation of the different territories that are crossed by the road. a sort of spatial appropriation through the footprint and the gaze –a material confrontation between the language of the particular and the language of the universal. the continuous and accelerating frictions between the language of the particular and the language of the universal, between simultaneously being one and part of a group, inaugurate the moment of invisibility. the globalisation of culture and the respect to difference call for a wordless consensus. today it is necessary to make ideas invisible, in order to clear the path for an architecture made from the frictions of living as presentation -not representation- of life… the architecture of tomorrow does not ask for forms, but for the marrow of forms, an architecture with a succinct body, just enough to stand up. if something characterizes today’s architecture, it is the architect’s capacity to explore and exploit, with a critical and ironic attitude, preferably with a sense of humour, the apparent restrictions and difficulties of the profession in our time.
i was very proud to get a visit on saturday by 2 top architects and a curator from japan. i had contacted ikko a year or so ago when i had seen the work that she is doing with editions in craft, with african ladies which were being exhibited in rossana orlandi. this summer i had a visit by pieke bergmans, and after i wrote about her, and the work she had done at the llove hotel in japan. after i wrote again about the whole llove hotel project.
a couple of weeks ago, ikko wrote to me and said she was coming to barcelona with her friend, architect, jo nagasaka. she said that he had seen that i had wrote about him and his projects in japan with schemata and that they would like to meet me and see the openhouse project. they came saturday evening with a friend, yoshihide kobanawa, who works here for rcr aquitects, and is also a friend of my flatmate nobu. it is a very small world.
we shared a wonderful evening of talking and wine. it was a pleasure to have them at home, and to find out about their new projects. photo : mari luz vidal
afer seeing the wonderful exhibition of robert montgomery at the stattbad wedding while i was in berlin, i have fallen in love with his poetic pieces. melancholic thoughts are given to you on billboards or as newspaper print as if they were advertising, yet these make you think more about you, others around and the space that you are in . Read More
if you are visiting berlin, you must not miss the sammlung boros gallery. the only thing is, is that you will need to book at least a month in advance. housed in what was a 5 story bunker in the center of berlin, built in 1943 to house up to 3000 train passengers. after the war, with east berlin having very little money, it was government property but was mainly left abandoned and house one of the most notorious rave and sex clubs in the world. christian boros bought the building in 2003, and with the help of architects jens casper and petra petersson of realarchitektur they converted its 120 rooms to 80. mostly the original building hasn’t been touched, the odd wall or ceiling has been taken out, and some spaces painted white. but when walls are nearly 2 meters thick, this is no easy task. but what is left is an amazing gallery. opening in 2008, the exhibition has just changed in september. i was so happy to see so many wolfgang tillmas‘ photos. chiristian boros started his collection with a photo of wolfgang, that he bought in 1990. so as soon as you know you are going to berlin, check the website to reserve your place. you will be lead in a small group around the 80 rooms in a guided tour that takes nearly 2 hours, and if you are lucky you will have the same girl as we did who not only told us about the history of the place and about the artists, but gave us her personal view on the work as we were seeing it. the architects also built a house for christian on top of the bunker. this will come in part 2, and unfortunately, it is not open to the public. .
so from finding les cashiers purple, inside, in an article about japan, i saw a black and white photo of two men swimming in a pool. i was spellbound. the men seamed to be floating in air. so poetic. i found out the photographer was anne frémy. i contacted her and bought a copy. now i have them in colour, floating on my wall. this photo was taken from her kyoto journal. photo : andrew trotter
i am very happy when i come across and new architect or designer that i don’t know, and if it is one that is more from the past, even better. my friend victor posted a blog post on my facebook with pictures of this house, and i fell in love. decio tozzi was acclaimed by oscar niemeyer and his wonderful houses for the hot brazilian climate, open, bare and luxurious are simply amazing. this is the fazenda veneza residence outside of sao paolo built in 1970 .